No friends, only foes in tennis says Bouchard

Paris: Playing top-level tennis and having friends are two things that do not go together, according to the fastest-rising star in the women`s game, Eugenie Bouchard.

The 20-year-old Canadian, the youngest player left in the French Open draw, certainly showed no mercy for Angelique Kerber on Sunday as she blasted the German eighth seed off the court 6-1, 6-2 in just 52 minutes.

She then explained how she was dealing with the world of professional tennis just two years after she won the girls junior title at Wimbledon.

"Best friend on tour? -- I don`t have one," she said in reply to a question at her post-match press conference.

"I don`t think the tennis tour is the place to have friends. For me it`s all competition.

"And I think it`s important to, you know, just remember that we`re going to play against each other in matches. It`s not like we`re teammates. To me, it`s kind of more competitive."

Bouchard`s no-nonsense approach to tennis appears to be working well as she was named WTA newcomer of the year for 2013 and reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January.

She followed that up with a run into the fourth round at Indian Wells and in the week before Roland Garros she won the first tournament of her career in Nuremberg, taking her up to 16th in the world rankings.

"To me it was important playing on the junior tour until the age of 18, because I played all the Grand Slams in juniors and I played on big courts," she said.

"I experienced pressure and I think it helped me being on the court when everyone thinks you should win.

"That was difficult, but it helped me be strong. So that`s why I managed to play well in the professionals, because I had experience."

Next up for Bouchard is a quarter-final against the winner of the tie between 21-year-old Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia and Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain for a place in the semi-finals.

Bouchard says she intends to go all the way in Paris, because the usual career span of a tennis pro is not that long.

"I`m not all that young. I feel very old. I think I`m starting to get wrinkles on my face. Do I have some? Yes? Okay, so I just turned 20 three months ago and I feel old.

"So I want to be the best player I can be as quickly as possible, because one day I will wake up and I will be 30!"

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